Week of November 7, 2016 

A conservative is a liberal who’s been mugged;

a liberal Is a conservative who’s been arrested.”

Tom Wolfe

Author of the “The Right Stuff” and “The Bonfire of the Vanities”


Lessons from McDonald’s (BEFORE Ray Kroc)

One of the true American success stories is McDonald’s.  The person usually associated with this is Ray Kroc, who was selling milk shake blenders and stumbled across two brothers named McDonald and their California hamburger stand.  The rest may be history but what happened before Kroc walked in their door is as instructional as what happened after Kroc entered the scene.

Every would- be (and current) business owner should study this article from Smithsonian Magazine  which recounts the trials and tribulations Maurice and Dick McDonald endured for decades beforethe Golden Arches dotted the American consumer landscape.  The McDonalds had already introduced many of the practices that made the company great including an early form of franchising before Kroc showed up.  Kroc’s contribution was to take the brothers’ insights and innovations to the next level.     “The Story of How McDonald’s First Got Its Start” is a cautionary, and inspiring, tale of dreams, failure, poor judgment, brilliant insights, persistence, creativity, luck …..and how the business you start is not always the business you end up in.

Will You Be One Out of Three?

Lots of Baby Boomers business owners are starting to look for the exits.  Vistage Speaker ( and Member) Scot Hunsaker thinks only one in three companies will survive an ownership transition.  And he should know; he bought his family’s business from his father, grew it 10X, sold it to the employees and has run six others. 

A recent five minute radio interview with Scot highlights what Boomers (and Millennials a few decades from now) can do to be “the one out of three.”  If you find Scot’s comments worth further investigation,check out his website for more info.

Reading Your Prospect’s Mind

Selling would be easier if we could read minds, but since we can’t the next best thing is a presentation by Vistage Speaker of the Year Dean Minuto whose presentations bring the science of influence to the art of sales.   Minuto suggests you engage the prospect in a conversation about an aspect of the human condition that is often ignored in a sales call.  Check out his one minute video on a topic that  may be missing from your sales team’s tool kit.  Dean asks a question you may not have thought of…ask your team how they would answer it.

A Five Book MBA

Many of us would love to have a Harvard MBA but time, money or other factors may make this unrealistic.   However, there’s no reason you can’t access what MBA students at one of the world’s business schools are required to read.  Former Harvard Business School Professor Bill George shares these five titles that are required reading at HBS in his recent blog posting with a few sentences on why they’re worth your time.

Econ Recon: American Brexit?

Election events have impacted the market in the past 10 days.  Could an election upset be an American Brexit?   Economist Brian Wesbury muses on the interplay of the stock market and world in a recent blog posting in which he asks, could next week’s election be a Brexit Redux?

Election One-Liners

The 2016 presidential race will mercifully (and hopefully)  be over by Wednesday morning.   The 24 hour news cycle provides no end of commentary and in-depth analysis, but you may find some short and pithy observations from history about politics and elections more enlightening, or at least amusing.   For a little respite from  all the electioneering, check out these election one- liners:

If God wanted us to vote, he would have given us candidates. ~Jay Leno~

The problem with political jokes is they get elected. ~Henry Cate~

We hang the petty thieves and appoint the great ones to public office. ~ Aesop~

If we got one-tenth of what was promised to us in these State of the Union speeches, there wouldn’t be any inducement to go to heaven. ~Will Rogers~

Politicians are the same all over. They promise to build a bridge even where there is no river. ~Nikita Khrushchev~

When I was a boy I was told that anybody could become President; I’m beginning to believe it.  ~Clarence Darrow~

Politicians are people who, when they see light at the end of the tunnel, go out and buy some more tunnel. ~John Quinton~

Why pay money to have your family tree traced; go into politics and your opponents will do it for you. ~Author unknown~

Politics is supposed to be the second-oldest profession. I have come to realize that it bears a very close resemblance to the first.  ~Ronald Reagan~

Politics is the gentle art of getting votes from the poor and campaign funds from the rich, by promising to protect each from the other.  ~Oscar Ameringer~

I offer my opponents a bargain: if they will stop telling lies about us, I will stop telling the truth about them.  ~Adlai Stevenson, 1952~

A politician is a fellow who will lay down your life for his country.  ~ Tex Guinan~

I have come to the conclusion that politics is too serious a matter to be left to the politicians.  ~Charles de Gaulle~

Instead of giving a politician the keys to the city, it might be better to change the locks.  ~Doug Larson~